Fleming responds to Gilchrist comments

On a day dominated by the rain, the newspapers of Australasia concentrated on Adam Gilchrist's fourth Test century, in the first Australia-New Zealand Test at the Gabba in Brisbane yesterday.

The New Zealand Press Asssociation had a response from New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming to comments made by Gilchrist about New Zealand's second day tactics with the wet ball.

"Fleming responded to claims by vice-captain Gilchrist that New Zealand's approach on the truncated second day of play was negative, after they had taken six wickets in the final session of the first day.

"'They had their tail up, the breakthroughs and the momentum and I was really surprised by their attitude from ball one,'" Gilchrist said.

"'They seemed intent on trying to slow the over rate and bowl a little bit with negative fields. It surprised me. It enabled us to settle in and take our time.'"

Fleming said the comments were disappointing and that his tactics were determined by the conditions.

"'I think he (Gilchrist) can pull his head in a little bit because the conditions obviously dictated a lot of the plays that we had to make,'" Fleming said.

"'We didn't have [Daniel] Vettori, we couldn't change the ball because after an over, a new ball would be the same (wet).

"'It's very easy when things are going your way to say those sort of things.'"

The Sun Herald: "Australia's amazing run of 23 Test matches without a draw has all-but been consigned to a watery grave after another dreary day took the first Test against New Zealand closer to stalemate.

"Only 18.4 overs were possible before tea on the third day, and even the Gabba's sieve-like surface can do nothing about the prospect of rain continuing through the weekend and into Monday.

"Adam Gilchrist completed his fourth Test century before Steve Waugh declared at 9-486, but the opening clash of the summer seems destined to end in Australia's first draw since the Colombo Test against Sri Lanka in September, 1999."

The Sunday Mail (Brisbane): "Since Gilchrist (118) made his Test debut two years ago, only Justin Langer and Steve Waugh have scored more runs. Another 17 yesterday would have taken him past both of them.

"The figures confirm Australia has seven frontline batsmen and he is close to the best.

"The Kiwi attack without workhorse Shayne O'Connor, whose knee injury has ruled him out, and spinner Daniel Vettori (unable to grip the wet ball), was as formidable as a three-legged Melbourne Cup runner.

"Inspirational Chris Cairns did splendidly to take 5-146 off 37 overs and deserved every scrap that landed on his plate after rushing against the clock to be fit for the series."